NORD supports Senate's clearing of medical foods for military patients
The next step for the bill is to be reconciled with the House version, which House leaders officially passed in May.
“This is an important step to receive large payer coverage of medical foods, and we hope it will accelerate getting other payers to cover the services,” Martha Rinker, vice president of public policy at NORD, said. “On behalf of the 30 million Americans we represent, NORD applauds and thanks Chairman John McCain, Ranking Member Jack Reed and Sen. Lindsey Graham of the Armed Services Committee for their leadership and commitment to providing military families with the best care possible.”
Medical foods are an important part of maintaining health, as they offer necessary pharmaceutical grade treatments for efficient, safe management approaches for inherited metabolic and digestive disorders.
Medical foods are usually used to treat Phenylketonuria, Crohn’s disease or Eosinophilic Esophagitis. If these health conditions are not treated or managed, there are major medical consequences, affecting patients for the rest of their lives.
Until today, TRICARE, a health care program with the U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System, covered medical foods. With this passage, however, the coverage has changed.
“Most private and public payers historically have not covered medically necessary food for digestive and inherited metabolic disorders, or would only cover medical foods delivered through a feeding tube or device,” Rinker said. “These major treatment modalities are unaffordable to many families when coverage is denied. We celebrate this win for the rare disease community and will continue to advocate for broader coverage until all individuals have access to the same benefit.”